While career planning and goal setting are important in today’s competitive professional industry, adhering to a rigid plan could actually be hindering your growth. Consider the below if you find yourself stagnant from over-planning.
1. Unplanned Events Will Happen
In your career and in life, unplanned events are to be expected because they are inevitable. In order to effectively manage unplanned events and continue towards success, it is imperative to be hardworking and good at recognizing and acting upon opportunities that come your way. Of course, many of these opportunities will not be in your five-year plan, so straying from your “plan” is necessary and best for your career.
2. Five Year Plans are Too Rigid
One of the most important characteristics in engineering your career is being adaptable. Being adaptable allows you to be open to the idea of change and embrace it when it inevitably arises. The main issue with planning so far out is you lose agility; your mindset adheres to sticking with the plan above all else, even when better opportunities come your way.
3. Overplanning Hinders Motivation
The tedious act of mapping out everything in detail beforehand hinders the variety and discovery that comes through actual execution and day to day life. While it is beneficial to spend time planning, you have to be able to move beyond the planning stage and not get hyper-focused on the incessant scrutiny of the plan.
4. Starting Now is Ideal
Instead of planning for the years ahead, it is worth it to consider what you truly want to be doing and why. Your decisions on the foregoing questions will lead you down the path you want, now. Society has instilled in us the notion that we need to plan longterm; however, longterm planning is not responsive to new opportunities. Decide what you want and start working towards that goal ASAP!
Ultimately, the goal of career planning is not to have a five-year plan, but to maximize the opportunities that present themselves to you and to learn and be in the right mindset to take advantage of opportunities, as they come. You will excel in your career and in life by putting yourself out there, trying new things, and crafting your own luck.
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